We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!
We have two daughters and a son, and naming them has always been a process. In each case, I came up with the initial list. My husband shot down most of the names, but there were always a few we could work with, and in the end, we went with my favorite from the names he liked from my first list.
Our children’s names are:
- Nora Evelyn – Evelyn might have been my first choice, but in the end, Nora just feel like the right name. As happy as I am with our decision, I do feel like it set a precedent for shorter first names.
- Cole Grayson – Same thing here – these were the only two names my husband and I agreed on, and I went back and forth until the last minute.
- Lily Madeline – This time I felt really confident in our choice before she was even born.
By the time we chose Lily’s name, I felt like we’d cracked the code. Yes, it was still lots of back and forth, but her name was certain way before I went into labor – so a good couple of weeks before Nora or Cole!
Now we’re expecting our fourth, very likely our last child, and it’s another girl. I hoped we’d have another experience like with Lily – put in the work, find the answer!
This time, though, I made a list and my husband crossed out … every. single. name. He was sort of surprised at the end, too, like we don’t know that could happen.
Here’s the list that I started with:
Our last name sounds like a traditional boys’ name with an S at the end: M@th-yous.
Maybe we just need some new ideas?
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your new daughter!
It does sound like you had a really good process … until it just stopped working. And I can only imagine that was one of those well-what-DO-we-do-NOW kind of moments, right?
I’m so tempted to revisit your list and encourage you to reconsider some of these names. Lately it strikes me that we reject names too quickly. Possible evidence? The number of times one parent will say, “XYZ was my favorite name for our firstborn, but my partner said no way! But then it came up when we were expecting our second, and now we both really like XYZ.”
It takes time for names to click.
Except … well, maybe that’s not the case here. Maybe you’re considered these names well, and they’re really, truly not quite right.
So I’m with you – let’s jump right in fresh suggestions.
A SISTER FOR NORA, COLE, and LILY
So we’re almost certainly looking for a name that is traditional, familiar, not quite Top Ten, and probably short and complete.
Except I also wonder if we should consider names slightly outside of that brief? Because maybe your husband is reacting to the reality that Sarah sounds a little like Nora; Lily, something like Mila; Cole, a bit like Rose.
Let’s look for names that broadly fit that brief but also go in a slightly different direction.
That bright A sound makes Ada sound just a little distinctive, while still being a sister for name Nora and Lily – in any time period, really.
Strictly speaking, Eden is a more modern name – like Cole. But both have deep roots, too. Again, it’s a new vowel sound and an ending sound you haven’t used before. And while I’m trying not to dwell on this, it’s visually appealing to stick with another four-letter name.
If Alice wasn’t right, maybe Frances won’t be, either? But it fits so well with Lily and Nora to my ear.
A word name like Rose, but maybe a little more contemporary?
We sometimes file Julia with names like Alyssa and Kayla, because it was very popular beginning in the 1980s. But Julia really belongs with the classics, just like Nora and Lily.
I love the way Kate would bookend your kids’ names: Nora, Cole, Lily, Kate. That’s just plain fun to say!
Like Frances, another name I’m putting on the list mostly to push you in a slightly different direction.
Same thing with Serena, though this time I’m also riffing on Sarah.
Overall, I’m most inclined to suggest Eden. Kate and Hope come in second and third, but fairly far behind Eden.
I’m going to suggest some middle names, too, just in case that helps.
Nora Evelyn, Cole Grayson, Lily Madeline, and:
- Eden Alice
- Eden Frances
- Eden Josephine
- Eden Juniper
- Eden Katherine
- Eden Meredith
- Eden Rosalie
- Eden Valentine
My favorite is probably Eden Frances, though I also wonder if giving your name to your daughter as a middle has any appeal?